KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Even though the Volunteers’ loss to Texas A&M, both Tennessee and Alabama are in the top-10 since 1999. It’s still been 11 years since the two were ever ranked at the same time.
After falling in double overtime, the Volunteers finally learned that they can’t give good teams such a big cushion and expect to come back again and again. They’ll have to find a way to get off to a better start and cure their turnover woes if they expect to compete against Alabama.
“In our missed tackles Saturday, we were tackling high. Not the fundamentals,” said Jones.
The Vols’ 16 turnovers are tied with Kentucky for fourth most in the country. Only Kansas, Duke and Bowling Green have more this season. Tennessee handed the ball over to the Aggies seven times on Saturday, the most in a game by a top 10 ranked team in 10 seasons.
“(I’ve) been very outspoken about it and everyone in our program understands it. You can’t turn the football over and again,” said Coach Butch Jones on Monday. “I think it’s not a lack of want. I think sometimes when I looked at the turnovers it’s individuals fighting for extra yards. It’s individuals trying to make plays and sometimes that’s going to happen with the style of play and the effort, but we do have to get it corrected.”
While Tennessee is entering the Alabama game with the most positive outlook in years, many fans are also looking to the laundry list of injured players.
“The football is so important they named the game after it,” said Jones.